Let’s face it: gaming sessions can sometimes be all-day affairs that leave you little time for much else, let alone time spent worrying about ways to prevent aches and pains. But, really, you should worry about these things, especially if you game for long stretches.
Back, neck and wrist pains are common among heavy computer and console users and they can seriously affect your game. Not only can they take away focus, if they become bad enough, you may not even be able to game at all for long stretches. So here’s a quick guide on ways to stay safe while gaming.
Prevent Aches and Pains
The most common complaint from gamers is that they experience back and neck pains frequently. This is usually due to poor playing posture.
Good posture may take some time to achieve, especially if you have particularly bad posture now. The best thing to do is to have your feet about shoulder-width apart and your soles flat on the floor. Straighten your back as much as is comfortable and pull your shoulders back about level with your hips. It may make you sore at first, but as you practice it, you will find the pain lessening into nothing.
Having the proper PC gaming chair can also go a long way in preventing aches and pains. They are specifically designed for long sessions of sitting and will help your posture, too.
Don’t spend hours and hours staring at the screen in the same position. This will undoubtedly cause you headaches, eye strain and back aches that will hinder your enjoyment and performance.
Make it a point to take a five minute break for every hour of gaming. Walk away and do a few stretches to help your muscles stay loose. It’s better to take even longer breaks as well every so often, upwards of 30 minutes that you can use to stay hydrated and maybe get a few more exercises in.
While sitting doesn’t seem like it takes a lot of effort, it does and you need to counteract that effort with breaks and exercise to stay safe.
Don’t Take it Too Seriously
Gaming — even serious gaming for a living — should be fun and enjoyable, Sure, you’ll have those days where it’s not as fun as you’d like it to be, but it should never become a burden to you.
If you find yourself canceling plans and avoid relationships, you may be addicted to gaming and should find help. A gaming addiction is as serious and can be as destructive as any other addiction and you will eventually come to hate gaming because of it.
So don’t take it too seriously. Skip a day or two if you can. Take frequent breaks and don’t neglect the other things in life that you live and give you pleasure. Your gaming sessions will be better for it.
Try to remember these simple things next time you start an epic gaming session.
Aaron Turner is a GP with a fairly typical home life; two teenage sons that need nagging about homework, keeping their rooms tidy and screen time. He writes about the health problems young people face due to today’s ever-connected world, and what can be done to prevent it.